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Japan sees record domestic violence consultations amid pandemic

  • March 3, 2022
  • , Kyodo News , 12:42 p.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO — Japanese police received 83,042 consultation requests regarding domestic violence in 2021, a record-high number for at least the past two decades, official data showed Thursday, as more people stayed at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The number, up 399 from the previous year, is the highest since a law against spousal violence took effect in 2001. The data released by the National Police Agency found that 74.8 percent of the alleged domestic violence victims were women.

 

By age, 26.4 percent were in their 30s, with those in their 20s and 40s each accounting for more than 20 percent. Among domestic violence cases investigated by Japanese police across the country 8,634 involved assault, while the number of male victims has increased in recent years, according to the data.

 

An NPA official in charge of compiling the data said the prolonged pandemic may have left more people trapped in situations of severe domestic violence.

 

The data also showed that the number of consultations regarding stalking totaled 19,728 in 2021, down 461 from the previous year. The decline was low even though a revised stalker regulation law, which bans the misuse of GPS to monitor people, came into force in August.

 

Of the suspected stalking victims, 87.6 percent were women, with a majority of them in their 20s. The number of those aged 70 or older increased slightly.

 

As for the relationships between victims and perpetrators, 37.9 percent involved individuals who were or had been dating.  Cases involving strangers made up 18.9 percent.

 

Regarding cases investigated by the police, 1,581 were related to violations of criminal and special laws, such as trespassing.

 

The NPA also said there were a record 1,628 consultations over revenge pornography last year. About 20 percent of the total involved people who met via social media.

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